And it just so happened that his very favorite band, from way back in college, who had been broken up for like, over 15 years, had just announced out of the blue a few months ago that they were back together, and releasing a new album, and oh by the way they’de be playing a show in Portland on his birthday weekend.
I knew I was saving those airline miles for a good reason. Serendipity!
So on his birthday, on April 11th, we flew to Portland for a long weekend. And I’ll share the majority of what we
did ate there coming up real soon, but today, let’s just focus on the important stuff. My honey had a birthday!
Our flight was out of LAX but wasn’t until the evening, which was good, because we had lots to do. But unfortunately, I was busy wrangling Waits and getting him ready for school, so I didn’t photograph our morning eats. It was most likely soy yogurt (um, hello, Whole Soy is baaaack!) and coffee for Jeremy, oatmeal with peanut butter and strawberry jam with a side of oat milk and chlorella tablets for Waits, and plain coffee for me.
Jeremy and I both had haircuts scheduled for that morning . . . it seems to be becoming a birthday tradition with us. His was at 9 and mine was at 10:30. So he was out of the house by 8:45, which gave me just enough time to drop Waits off at preschool and then set up Jeremy’s surprise birthday present at his house, where he would find it after his hair cut.
So seriously, what do you do when you love someone like mad but you don’t have very much money, so you can’t buy them something grand that might reflect the magnitude of your adoration? (like, say, an electric sports car . . . sorry babe.)
And friends, let me tell you something: if you’re going for maximum impact, I think this is an excellent approach. Jeremy was pretty gobsmacked. But be warned! My man turned 42 years old, which for me meant nearly 20 solid hours just for folding paper. Literally. I just want you to know what you’re getting into, if you’re ever inspired to attempt something similar. I started ~8 weeks out to make sure I had enough time. And it was so incredibly worth it, of course! I hope that goes without saying. I loved doing this for him and I LOVED that it made him feel so loved. That was the whole point.
Aren’t they pretty? If you want to give it a go, there’s a great tutorial here. It’s the octahedron and uses standard sonobe units.
With both of us sporting new haircuts, and with our bags finally packed, our houses all cleaned, and our clean-out-the-crisper juice securely stowed in a glass to-go cup, we could kiss the Harley dog goodbye and finally hit the road. By then it was almost 2 pm, whoops!
But don’t let the fancy juice fool you – I had been snacking on Snap Pea Crisps all morning to stave off the hunger pangs. Man, those things are addictive like crack! The juice, much healthier and addictive in its own right, was a beautiful blend of beet, carrot, kale, parsley, orange, apple, and ginger. And golly it was good.
But juice and crisps does not a full belly make. So we stopped in LA for some emergency Veggie Grill, eaten in the car on the way to the airport, because of course by this point we were somehow totally running late.
I got the B-Wing Salad, sub buffalo-style tempeh for the buffalo chickin’ which makes it gluten free, add extra buffalo sauce, because buffalo. That salad is my JAM.
Jeremy got the Savory Kale Caesar, add buffalo chickin’, because BUFFALO.
First stop upon landing, still in the PDX terminal. A wee espresso shot for each of us. The night was still young!
Obviously, I lived in Portland for 5 years so I had lots of amazing people and lots of delicious things and lots of wonderful places that I just couldn’t wait to show Jeremy. But for our first night? My sissy of course! My dearest sister (well, step sister, but whatever) picked us up from the airport and whisked us away to one of my favorite places of all: the Bye and Bye, an all-vegan bar with a most excellent late night menu.
My sister is unlike anyone I’ve ever met. She is basically the embodiment of pure magic.
Like I said, the Bye and Bye has an awesome menu, so along with our voluminous libations, we grabbed some dinner grub.
For me, the Eastern Bowl with nooch-breaded tofu, steamed broccoli, brown rice, and spicy peanut ginger sauce. Add avocado, duh.
Jeremy got the meatball sub (not gluten-free) and a side of brussels sprouts. I can vouch for the brussels, and he said the sammie was AWESOME.
We ate, we drank, we were very very merry. It was the perfect start to our Portlanstravaganza vegan vacation. And of course, a very happy birthday!
I love you baby! I’m so very glad you were born!
♥ ♥ ♥